The first thing to talk about is STAT, LOU, and LB.
I wonder if STAT was going to go anyway (shades of Melo), no matter what we offered him. "He may be thinking. "What did I do?," and "How did I get here", when he faces pressure from the NY sports media, but we may not have been able to keep him at the time.
As for Lou, he has been hurt, so why would having a hurt player on the roster be helpful.
Also, remember that we got Turk in a trade for Barbosa (he was never the replacement for STAT), and Barbosa has also been hurt.
Now, why are Turk, Frye, AND Lopez struggling?
Well, Turk is playing the 4 as a de facto underweight rookie, and the new techniques are affecting his concentration on offense.
We must also realize that BOTH Lopez and Frye are good paint defenders, but not very good (and/or experienced) at guarding big men outside the Paint (OTP). Turk's weaknesses are forcing Frye and Lopez to have to learn a new system, which is affecting their offensive games, as well as weakening our interior defense.
One may ask, why, with STAT's "defense" did we not have as much a problem with interior defense last year.
Two possibilities are 1)STAT is about 30 lb. heavier that Turk/Warrick/Clark, so other teams didn't THINK that we were as weak with interior defense, and didn't focus their offense there.
2)With the Suns' offense in gear, we didn't notice the interior defense deficiencies as much.
It is probably some of both.
But with the lack of a "LOU upgrade" (Heavy PF/C), Turk, Frye, and Lopez, are all having to learn new things, and would be expecting to be struggling.
However, If the Suns get a Lou Upgrade, Turk, Fyre, and Lopez will be able to play to their strengths (and experience), the Suns offense will get in Gear, and the Suns will be a contender.
Imagine if we had Dwayne Jones to be the backup PF (2nd in minutes to Warrick).
Well, Jefferson would not have scored more points than Duncan, Ginobili, or Tony Parker in the Spurs' game, which means the Suns would have won. We might have also won the rematch with the Grizzlies, and might have even beaten the Lakers (if Odom had been limited a bit [13 Pts, 12 Reb. vs 18 pts.,17 Reb] the Suns could have won the game).
Thus, the Suns would be at least 4-3, if not 5-2, now. Not bad for a team trying to find itself and playing the 2nd hardest Strength of Schedule (so far) in the NBA!!
We need a Lou upgrade NOW, not later. I don't want for the Suns to lose 4-5 games that they should have won, due to delaying the Lou upgrade acquisition. This would mean (optimistically), that the Suns would be a 5-8 seed instead of a 1-4 seed in the playoffs. It could also be the difference between getting a 5-8 seed and missing the playoffs altogether!!
Next post will explore the 3 options the Front Office has, and what to do.